This might be the last Christmas that Abby believes in Santa. This saddens me because I vividly remember my own heart break when this cold realization fogged my brain. In a valiant effort to prolong the magical wonder for my daughter, I've employed the efforts of Santa's elves. I, too, have been Santa's helper. Surprise candy canes adorned the trees and whimsical elves mysteriously moved 'round the house, playfully relocating from room to room. After we got a beautiful nine inches of snow, Santa himself delivered an early Christmas present of sleds. Abby explained that Santa must've used the Christmas winds to send the sleds down to us. I breathed a sigh of blissful relief.
In December of 1979, I deduced that my parents had been parading as Santa. (That same Christmas Eve, I spent several hours in the ER getting stitches in my chin. I secretly wished they could sew my faith and belief in the magic of Christmas back in at the same time.) When I rebounded, I started to craft the same veil of wonder and joy for my much younger brother.
I now get to do the same with Abby and Henry. I've got time with Henry. But Abby's current inquisitive line of questioning indicates that her logic is getting ready to trump her beliefs. She might be ready for this but, alas, I am not. I hope that if her tangible belief in Santa begins to fade, she will fuel the magic and spirit of Christmas for herself and others. I still get goosebumps when Christmas magic occurs. When the kids are hypnotized by twinkly lights, when they act selflessly, when strangers think of others before themselves...all these form a Christmas knot in my throat. Tears filled my eyes when Santa wished me a Merry Christmas this year. I was transported to 1978, once again a little girl, filling my heart and mind with the wonderment of the season. I hope Abby keeps that center of her heart open so she continues to give and receive the gifts of the season. So she will always say, with conviction, I Believe.